The RomanoffsLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 12/07/18 at 10:10PM EST
"Blank Check TV": Exorbitant spending on TV shows was the worst trend of 2018
Source: Entertainment Weekly
From Amazon's Jack Ryan to Matthew Weiner's "expensive mediocrity" The Romanoffs, "2018 was the year when big money became a kind of new normal on television," says Darren Franich. There was a time not long ago when TV was made cheap, "Hollywood cheap," when there was a clear distinction between movie money and TV money, says Franich. Not anymore. As his EW colleague Kristen Baldwin notes: "Not only is there more television than ever before, the television itself is more everything than ever — the episodes are longer, the budgets are bigger, the concepts are higher, the star wattage is brighter, the language is bluer. Bigger isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but bigger with no boundaries is. With countless networks and streaming platforms pumping out more and more content for our overtaxed eyeballs, it seems the industry’s latest strategy for breaking through the 'clutter' is a) throwing money at a recognizable name, and b) getting out of the way." Sure, some expensive series -- like Homecoming and and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel -- work, but there are too many shows that seem to be given blank checks to spend as much as possible, like Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America?, The Romanoffs and Apple’s entire original programming philosophy. Blank Check TV also extends to the TV show trend of "Unnecessary Helicopter" shots, which Franich calls the "single totem for the style of Blank Check television." Netflix, adds Baldwin, "continues to be a prime offender in this space, whether they’re leafblowing money at comedians to make late-night shows they’ll immediately cancel, or boring us to tears with the big-budget bombast of Lost in Space."
Posted Friday 11/09/18 at 10:34PM EST
Matthew Weiner's #MeToo episode of The Romanoffs was depressing and unnecessary
Last week's episode was clearly in response to former Mad Men writer Kater Gordon's sexual harassment allegation against Weiner. As Matt Zoller Seitz explains, "It’s depressing to watch The Romanoffs obliquely address the Gordon–Weiner situation after having watched Mad Men deal in similar material over the course of seven seasons in much richer and more imaginative ways, weaving psychology, sociology, history, and pop-culture into the mix, creating a series of dramatically charged confrontations that never resolved themselves in a simplistic way. The worst part of it is that The Romanoffs seems spineless in comparison, retreating into 'we can never really know what happened' hand-waving, and encouraging us to sympathize with the poor man who only wants to be 'the key that unlocks the mystery of talent,' in another parent’s words — and a man whose life was nearly 'ruined' by scurrilous talk, unbeknownst to him." ALSO: “Bright and High Circle" doesn't seem compelled to imagine what it’s like to be on the receiving end of unwanted advances.
Posted Friday 11/02/18 at 10:48PM EDT
Matthew Weiner fails in his attempt to tackle #MeToo on The Romanoffs
It was hard to ignore that this week's episode, dealing with a sexual misconduct allegation, was co-written by Weiner, who was last year accused of sexually harassing Mad Men writer Kater Gordon.
Posted Saturday 10/20/18 at 2:43AM EDT
A Romanov objects to The Romanoffs, saying she "concurs with the general consensus of the critics"
Source: The New York Times
The self-declared Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, who claims to be the rightful heir to the Russian crown, issued a news release on Wednesday citing most TV critics' distaste for Amazon's Matthew Weiner anthology series. Particularly, she objected to the opening credits that portrays the murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family somewhat comedically, calling the sequence "appalling."
Posted Saturday 10/13/18 at 3:11AM EDT
The Romanoffs tries and fails in creating Prestige TV in the form of self-contained movie-length episodes
Matthew Weiner's eight-episode Amazon anthology series, like its characters, "continuously puts its worst, least interesting foot forward, aristocratically expecting you’ll stick around to see the next step," says Willa Paskin. She adds: "It has become a cliché for the makers of TV shows to tout them as movies, as in: 'It’s really like a movie, stretched out over eight episodes.' The run time of each episode of The Romanoffs, all of which Weiner directed and wrote or co-wrote, suggests an ambitious corollary: 'It’s really like eight movies.' ... But despite running the length of a movie, The Romanoffs unfolds at the unhurried pace of a prestige TV drama, and this makes for an unhappy combination. A TV show is a long-term relationship: Plot holes, underdeveloped characters, fuzzy motivations are also potential rabbit holes, places for the story to go. But in a self-contained, 90-minute burst, in a story that you know is supposed to end relatively soon, this pacing is a kind of provocation: How long until you pull out your second screen?"
- The Romanoffs is proof that creativity without limits can be dangerous, even for someone as gifted as Matthew Weiner
- The Romanoffs episodes play together like a nice long weekend at an independent film festival in the mountains somewhere
- It's like a Black Mirror of relationships, privilege and ruling classes in decline
- The Romanoffs is a series with an uneasy relationship to plot in a format that thrives on it -- it favors character, but hasn’t the time to delve into it
- Matthew Weiner is trying too hard to escape Mad Men's shadow
- The show is probably the biggest blank check in TV history -- all of Amazon's money is up on screen
- The Romanoffs is very close to being something extraordinary, but Weiner indulges too much
- When the story lets the series down, the impeccable production value lifts it back up
- It's the ultimate vanity project: The Romanoffs somehow moves both too quickly and too slowly
- The Romanoffs satirizes the desperation of white privilege in decline
- Corey Stoll's wife is actually married to one of the Romanovs
- Matthew Weiner: The Romanoffs is a "wildest-dreams scenario"
Posted Wednesday 9/12/18 at 1:11PM EDT
Matthew Weiner's The Romanoffs gets an official trailer
Watch the full-length trailer for the Mad Men creator's new Amazon series, premiering Oct. 12.
Posted Wednesday 8/29/18 at 5:36PM EDT
Amazon reveals episode lineup and photos for The Romanoffs
Aaron Eckhart will kick off the Matthew Weiner anthology series with an episode titled "The Violet Hour."
Posted Tuesday 8/14/18 at 1:57PM EDT
Amazon unveils the star-studded trailer for Matthew Weiner's The Romanoffs
The first teaser for the Mad Men creator's upcoming Amazon series showed a bunch of big names. The new trailer matches those big names with faces, including Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Noah Wyle, Isabelle Huppert, Kathryn Hahn, Ron Livingston and Mad Men vets Christina Hendricks and John Slattery.
Posted Saturday 7/28/18 at 10:38PM EDT
The Romanoffs from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner gets Amazon premiere date and teaser trailer
The "official teaser" for the anthology series about the Russian Royal family lists the names of all 34 cast members, including Christina Hendricks and John Slattery. It premieres on Friday, Oct. 12.
Posted Thursday 11/09/17 at 8:15PM EST
Until recently Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner was working with Harvey Weinstein and Roy Price on his new Amazon show The Romanoffs
As Matt Wilstein points out, the “craziest part” of the sexual harassment allegation against Weiner from writer Kater Gordon is that his upcoming show The Romanoffs was, until recently, produced by Harvey Weinstein via The Weinstein Company and was greenlighted by former Amazon Studios chief Roy Price. Weinstein and Price were, of course, taken down by sexual harassment accusations.
Posted Tuesday 10/31/17 at 2:03PM EDT
Diane Lane boards Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs
The Amazon series from the Mad Men creator will mark a rare TV role for Lane, who has primarily worked in movies.
Posted Friday 10/13/17 at 11:28PM EDT
More Harvey Weinstein fallout: Amazon drops Robert De Niro-Julianne Moore drama, takes over Mad Men creator’s The Romanoffs
David O. Russell’s untitled, Weinstein Company-produced $160 million drama was to be De Niro’s first regular TV series. Instead, it will be scuttled. Meanwhile, Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs will move from being produced by The Weinstein Company to being entirely produced by Amazon. ALSO: De Niro, Moore and Russell release a statement supporting Amazon's decision.
Posted Friday 9/15/17 at 3:31PM EDT
Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs taps Corey Stoll and Andrew Rannells
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The two actors are joining the Amazon anthology from the Mad Men creator after finishing their other shows, The Strain for Stoll and Girls for Rannells.
Posted Tuesday 8/29/17 at 2:56PM EDT
Matthew Weiner is bringing back some of his Mad Men team for Amazon’s The Romanoffs
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Writers, producers, production designers and hair and makeup team are all reuniting with Weiner for his next TV series.